U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has confirmed North Korea's claim that it launched an intercontinental ballistic missile overnight.

"The United States strongly condemns North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile," Tillerson said in a statement. "Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world."

He continued, "Global action is required to stop a global threat. Any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military benefits, or fails to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime. All nations should publicly demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to their pursuit of nuclear weapons."

In his statement, Tillerson confirmed that the Trump administration was seeking a meeting with the United Nations Security Council, which a spokesperson for Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, had told ABC News earlier in the day.

"We intend to bring North Korea's provocative action before the UN Security Council and enact stronger measures to hold the DPRK accountable," Tillerson said in a statement. "The United States seeks only the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the end of threatening actions by North Korea. As we, along with others, have made clear, we will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. The President and his national security team are continuing to assess the situation in close coordination with our allies and partners."

A UNSC spokesperson anticipates that the meeting could happen as early as Wednesday afternoon.

An assessment of the launch is ongoing, a U.S. official said, adding that North Korea’s missile advancements help demonstrate how it can now fire its missiles on short notice.

After initial reports on the North Korean launch, which President Donald Trump tweeted about, U.S. Pacific Command first described the missile as an intermediate range ballistic missile, not an ICBM.

According to the U.S. and South Korea, the missile was launched into a high trajectory of 1,730 miles in altitude and flew horizontally about 575 miles, into the Sea of Japan.

The missile emerged from an airfield in Kusong, a city in North Korea's far northwestern corner, an area used for launches in the past. U.S. officials said Monday that they were anticipating a North Korean launch but were keeping an eye on a facility in the eastern part of the country.

A spokesman for Japan's Cabinet said the missile landed inside Japan's exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 miles from its shores.

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Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, said in a statement that the Secretary-General "strongly condemns the launch," calling this "yet another brazen violation of Security Council resolutions and constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation."

"The DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] leadership must cease further provocative actions and comply fully with its international obligations," the statement said. "The Secretary-General underlines the importance of maintaining the unity of the international community in addressing this serious challenge."

Members of the president's national security team also spoke by phone today to discuss North Korea.

Trump took to Twitter on Monday, before issued an official statement on the matter, to respond to reports that North Korea conducted another missile test.

"North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?" he tweeted late Monday, presumably referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Hard to believe that South Korea … and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all."

Haley wrote on Twitter this afternoon, "Spending my 4th in meetings all day. #ThanksNorthKorea".

The launch was North Korea's 10th ballistic missile test this year.

ABC News' Katherine Faulders contributed to this report.

Original Article


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